Realm Pricing, Features, Reviews & Alternatives

Realm

Community-focused online church management system

4.39/5 (219 reviews)

Realm overview

What is Realm?

Realm is a church management system by ACS Technologies which places its emphasis on online community building.

Realm provides a unified church database, including a photo directory, empowering church members to connect both online and offline. Users can add unlimited custom fields into profiles for whatever data they need to collect, create associations between family profiles to manage any information updates in one place, and assign roles to staff and volunteers with set permissions to control what personal information individuals can access.

Realm offers a range of donor giving options, including scheduled and recurring donations, mobile and online giving, and the choice between staff entry or full donor management of pledges, including which fund they wish to donate to, and start and end dates for recurring contributions. Users can view full giving histories for all donors, which are also accessible for donors to use for their records.

Realm includes a variety of customizable report templates, and reports produced can be shared between staff, who can view new reports on their next login. Users can also create mailing lists of people from reports, such as attendees of a specific event, allowing communications to be targeted for greater relevance to individuals.

The system can be extended for multi-location churches, including information on location-specific security, the ability to analyse trends at different locations, and sharing of processes and content between all staff and volunteers.
www.acstechnolog1ies.com

Pricing

Starting from
$29/month
Pricing options
Free trial
Subscription
Value for money
View Pricing Plans

Devices

Business size

S
M
L

Markets

United States

Supported languages

English
Realm screenshot: Realm users can track event attendanceRealm-Quick-GlanceRealm screenshot: Realm displays attendee demographic on its attendance dashboardRealm screenshot: Users can set up multiple fund accounts in Realm to hold donations for specific purposesRealm screenshot: Realm enables users to batch enter contributions, such as Sunday collectionsRealm screenshot: Donors have multiple giving options with Realm, and multiple payment types can be acceptedRealm screenshot: Realm automatically generates donation statementsRealm screenshot: Users can filter groups in Realm using multiple criteriaRealm screenshot: Realm allows users to specify in which situations they would like to be notifiedRealm screenshot: Administrators can restrict which information in Realm other users can accessRealm screenshot: Realm includes self-service check-in functionality

Realm user reviews

Value for money
Features
Ease of use
Customer support
  4.3
  4.1
  4.2
  4.6
Jilliane P.

Realm has been an excellent resource for our congregation and staff.

Used daily for 1-2 years
Reviewed 2018-06-12
Review Source: Capterra

Pros
We use Realm Connect - the level that allows for congregants to log in and use the app feature as well. Realm is easy to use and intuitive to figure out. The staff love being able to get to it anywhere and that they can even work on their phones on things if needed. Realm has features that make life easier for church staff, while also allowing the congregation to connect with each other. The Realm development team is always looking at ways to make it easier for people to know where to go, while also trying to find ways to make the church staff's lives easier as they input the data. Additionally, the support staff is very knowledgeable and helpful. I rarely have to wait for support help and if they cannot fix an issue while I am on the phone with them, they are quick to follow back up.

Cons
There are still areas they are building out and things that are not there yet. For example, today we tried to copy a list of people from a registration event into a group roster as the group decided they wanted to be able to communicate with each other during the study. This was not a feature that was available yet, so the person entering the data had to manually add the people to a group. But, they have an enhancement request portal where Realm staff users can enter ideas in on what to change or add and they follow that portal very closely. The things that are not there yet are a small trade-off in my mind, as overall Realm is incredible software. And knowing that those things will come soon makes it easier for me to help my staff realize that if they can be patient for a little bit longer, everything will be in one place. They really like that!

Rating breakdown

Value for money
Ease of use
Features
Customer support

Likelihood to recommend: 10/10

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Dave S.

A decent web-based database

Used daily for less than 6 months
Reviewed 2020-10-30
Review Source: Capterra

The customer service has been good, and their demo was reasonably well done, though their app crashed for their employee multiple times. I asked some tough questions about features that they said they were still building, and they admitted that they really couldn't compete with planning center in terms of a service planning module, but other things seem pretty good. My preference would have been Planning Center overall, but our finance people pushed us towards Realm because of some of the options on that side, so I'm living with it and trying to figure out how to manage my volunteers and services in planning center while keeping our main database and pathways on Realm. It's not ideal, but Realm doesn't seem bad per say. One oddity was that Realm's marketing pitch included the fact that they were a family business. I love families, but "family business" to me is a point against when I'm dealing with a software development company - as a user I want excellence of design and programming with great customer service, not friendly staff who are also designing software. That being said, we haven't had any significant issues or feature limitations yet!

Pros
Because we were previously on ACS, it was easy to import previous data. The online interface is much friendlier than the old version, and it generally has good features and capabilities, but as with any database/CRM, it's all in how you set it up and implement use. Overall, it's a solid choice.

Cons
Being a Planning Center Services user who's dabbled in other Planning Center products, I prefer the integration and user interface of planning center. Overall Realm feels more PC than Mac - sturdy, but not as pretty and at times a bit frustrating with the number of clicks you need to do to get to where you want to go. It's functional, but it feels like it'll take longer for people to learn how to set things up and do things properly, which will impede good rollout and ultimately depth of functionality because of that.

Rating breakdown

Ease of use
Features
Customer support

Likelihood to recommend: 7/10

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G. H.

Serious Gaps

Used daily for 2+ years
Reviewed 2020-01-10
Review Source: Capterra

Frustration is the best word that describes my experience with Realm. Frustration on finding information, frustration on looking for help, and frustration even on the help desk. When I write an email, it is almost as if I am getting a computer response telling me only a simplistic response that does not consider my question on the background that I provided. It seems that my complaints fall on unconcerned ears when i express them to the Staff.

Pros
I like the ability to use a check scanner with the giving software

Cons
There are serious gaps in the way Realm relays information. When certain payments are made online, the software does not notify the Administrator of their receipt. I have to go and look for the payments (such as VBS registrations) without the software telling me that it has come in. Then it does not list the deposits from the registrations, only the individuals that made payment, after I go outside the giving module. Our checking account has been out of balance because of this. Also the giving statements allow very little configuration. The pledge set ups do not allow for change. Nor can you easily go back to a previous screen or report that you had to navigate from. I do not find the software intuitive, and often have to search for long times to get information that I need, The searching seems fragmented and not easily connected. When i edit a previous gift I do not get a notification or ability to print out a report so I can do a journal entry so we can keep our records balanced. The online help is entirely worthless. It lags far behind many other help searches that I use for software. I feel that I am forced to call the help desk. Usually after searching for at least a half hour down many dead ends, the I call the help line and there's another 30 minutes explaining my problem. And another 20 minutes hearing the condescending comments telling me that I have to not expect REALM to preform according to my expectations. It is not seamless, nor is the contribution

Rating breakdown

Value for money
Ease of use
Features
Customer support

Likelihood to recommend: 1/10

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William B.

Realm is a good church database

Used daily for 1-2 years
Reviewed 2019-09-05
Review Source: Capterra

Overall Realm is a good a product. It was first rolled out to small churches and it shows that. It seems that the programmers and decision makers still look at the small churches instead of larger churches when adding features.

Pros
It is a communication tool as well as a database. They keep improving Realm. Ease of finding duplicate entries. Customer support is the best in the industry.

Cons
There are many features that larger churches need to use the software the best and Realm does not seem to be in any hurry to provide those features. They make larger churches figure out work arounds which is never good. Difficult to get the needed reports for our auditor each year. Contributions is not done by the best practices for debits and credits. They line through entries when a charge back is made at the bank instead doing a debit, which shows a money trail for audit purposes.

Rating breakdown

Value for money
Ease of use
Features
Customer support

Likelihood to recommend: 8/10

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Karen S.

REALM is Easy

Used daily for 6-12 months
Reviewed 2020-03-05
Review Source: Capterra

We enjoy the products ability for us to track giving, children/youth that are registered to track for attendance. We track worship service attendance that is required by our Diocese and of course giving is imperative and the system allows us to do this an efficient matter.

Pros
The best part of the feature that all religious institutions could benefit from is the giving module. The online giving is very easy and user friendly and processing of the gifts is very easy for the administrators of the church. We recently rolled out groups and have a BETA group using it. They are very excited about the capabilities and have added their own members and published documents for them to use and communicate. We use the product for event registration and that process has been easy as well, it is intuitive and provides a lot of options for tailoring to particular event needs.

Cons
Currently the serving module needs to be built out more for us to fully utilize it. We are trying to avoid having the serving team send emails back and forth about coverage and needs. We also would like more customizable features when it comes to background color and newsletter type communications.

Rating breakdown

Value for money
Ease of use
Features
Customer support

Likelihood to recommend: 10/10

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Realm pricing

Starting from
$29/month
Pricing options
Free trial
Subscription
View Pricing Plans

Pricing is based on typical weekly attendance, which includes kids, but only counts people once no matter how many services they attend. There are no contracts and there is a money back guarantee!

Inform:
1-50: $29/month, $79 setup fee
51-100: $39/month, $99 setup fee
101-150: $59/month, $149 setup fee
151-200: $79/month, $199 setup fee
201-300: $119/month, $279 setup fee

Inform + Connect:
1-50: $44/month, $109 setup fee
51-100: $59/month, $129 setup fee
101-150: $89/month, $199 setup fee
151-200: $119/month, $250 setup fee
201-300: $179/month, $350 setup fee

For a typical weekly attendance of 300 or more, contact ACS Technologies for a pricing quote.

Realm features

Alerts/Notifications
Attendance Tracking
Data Import/Export
Donor Management
Electronic Payments
Event Management
Membership Management
Mobile Access
Online Giving
Pledge Management
Volunteer Management

API (76 other apps)
Activity Dashboard (85 other apps)
Campaign Management (91 other apps)
Mobile Giving (76 other apps)
Payment Processing (86 other apps)
Receipt Management (75 other apps)
Recurring Giving (73 other apps)
Reporting & Statistics (99 other apps)
Third Party Integrations (76 other apps)

Videos and tutorials

Additional information for Realm

Key features of Realm

  • Self-service check-in
  • Volunteer check-in
  • Serving opportunity listings
  • Invite-only events
  • Attendance tracking
  • Direct messaging
  • Group pages
  • Name badge printing
  • Group resource sharing
  • Mobile giving
  • Online giving
  • Donor statements
  • Fund management
  • Check scanning
  • Automated emails
  • Executive dashboards
  • Self-managed profiles
  • Email list targeting
  • Follow-up triggers
  • Event registration
  • Automatic data backups
  • Personal notifications
  • Automatic address correction
  • Custom report builder
  • Batch entry
  • Multiple payment types
  • Group calendars
  • Group discussion threads
  • Scheduled and recurring donations
  • Skill and interest tracking
  • Custom fields
  • Controlled user access
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Benefits

Realm gives donors a wide array of giving options, including text based giving, online donation, full management of payment methods, and recurring and scheduled donations, details of which can be entered by staff or managed fully by the donors themselves.

Users can create an unlimited number of custom profile fields to suit their needs, and assign staff roles and set permissions to control access to personal information stored in profiles.

Realm includes multiple customizable report templates, and custom reports can be shared with other staff members, who are notified on their next login.

Staff can centrally manage check-in kiosks, help check people in, see attendance in real time, and run attendance reports, and for group events, group leaders can take attendance at the beginning of, during, or after meetings.

Members can include notes on important information such as allergies or specific care instructions when checking their children into events.